The news that the Church of England, and other Protestant denominations, are facing extinction in the UK over the next forty years is not news. It has been predicted for generations. The Church of England was after all just an expedient Establishment invention by Henry VIII 500 years ago, a property and land grab by the King and his cronies, a piece of convenient nationalism, an outward, pretend Roman Catholic Church, which was at heart Protestant, devised to keep the masses under State control. The only surprising thing is that the temporary sticking-plaster of the Church of England has lasted so long. Thus, when the secular media accuse the Church of England of being ‘out of touch with public opinion’, which is a way of saying ‘out of touch with media manipulations’, we are given the hope that it may survive a bit longer. However, it is not just the secular media who say such things, it is most of the Church of England.
Everybody knows that the Church of England has always swum with the tide. In the 18th century many of its bishops were slaveowners and proud of it. In the early 20th century many of its bishops and vicars were keen fox-hunters, but definitely against buggery, but the greatest sin of all for them was definitely divorce. Sexual morality was the only real sin for the Puritans. In the 1970s its bishops were enthusiastic about the Common Market, though in 2016 many of them were against its successor, the EU. In the early 21st century its clergy were universally against slavery and fox-hunting, but keen on same-sex marriage, which some of them lived in and divorce really did not matter any more. It is all the classic ‘Vicar of Bray’ syndrome. ‘Which way is the State directing us to go? The reason we ask is because we must follow it’. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vicar_of_Bray)
This is not an attack on the Church of England and the other Protestant denominations which face extinction at the same time, or even before. It is just facts. And neither is it written in favour of Roman Catholicism. That denomination is also in a state of chronic decline, literally dying out for lack of clergy and because its present clergy are, sometimes quite unjustly, suspected by a great many of being pedophiles. Just as Protestantism, of which the Church of England is merely a part, has come to the end of its 500-year shelf-life, so has Roman Catholicism, which is coming to the end of its 1,000-year shelf-life. The time of all the dinosaurs is up.
Is this a plea then for minority Orthodox Christianity? No. Far too many of its bishops live in small and ever smaller nationalist ghettoes, or else are bullies, Soviet-style thugs who live in luxury and are all stick, but no carrot, who threaten, intimidate, punish and try to steal from and rob real Christians. They are the corrupt spiritual descendants of those who martyred Orthodox Russia from 1917 on and try to martyr Christians today. Their ‘example’ is why Orthodoxy is so small. The time of all those schismatics dinosaurs is up. They too face extinction – or else a very long stay in a monastery to reflect on their sins and find repentance before the Church.
So what is this a plea for?
It is a plea for the authentic Orthodox Church, the Church of God, the Church of the Saints.